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winter 2018
Vivian Sox Warner

Wofford and the Law

Vivian Sox Warner ’10: Finding universal value in the liberal arts and the law

Although Vivian Sox Warner ’10 does not practice law in Iceland, she certainly is using the skills she learned at Wofford College and in law school.

Warner was clerking for the Hon. Kristi Harrington, now retired, following law school when she met and married her husband, Robert, who works as an engineer for the U.S. Navy. When his job took him to Iceland, she also found work with the U.S. Embassy Reykjavik as the community liaison officer.

“I advised embassy management and the ambassador, helped Foreign Service employees and their families make the transition to living and working in Iceland and was the morale officer and event planner,” says Warner. “The first part of the job description involved being an advocate, and that’s what you are as an attorney. I was an advocate, advisor and negotiator for the embassy community. It was a nontraditional legal career, but I served in many of the same roles as an attorney.”

Now Warner is putting her education to use in another way while she cares for her two young daughters, Lucy and Anne-Marie.

“Typically in Iceland, mothers have at least nine months maternity leave, and fathers have three months,” she says. “In Iceland, as in most Nordic countries, the whole country is a safe playground. The culture is so supportive of families.”

Warner’s husband’s contract ends in just over a year, and the family plans to move back to the states, where Warner will return to the law after her family is settled. She knows she’ll be prepared.

“The liberal arts curriculum and the emphasis on travel during Interim taught me to find value in cultures different than my own,” she says. “Wofford prepared me for law school because the upper-level writing courses in the English department required graduate-level analysis. Additionally, my courses in finance, economics and public speaking complemented my legal education.”

She’s also committed to using her Wofford degree, her law degree and her experiences with the U.S. Embassy in Iceland to make a positive impact on her community and world.

“I always thought of attorneys as merely transactional. Then I did a civil rights tour of the South and a trip to the Southern Poverty Law Center with (the Rev. Dr.) Ron Robinson (’78),” she says of the spring break trip she took as a Wofford student. “It showed me how I can do things professionally that are personally rewarding. I have a career in the law because of that experience.”

By Jo Ann Mitchell Brasington '89